The quiet brilliance of Judy Blume

Who needs vampires, werewolves, and blood sport? Judy Blume thrived by writing what's real.

Judy Blume
(Image credit: John Munson/Star Ledger/Corbis)

Thank you, Judy Blume.

Without Judy — yes, I've read enough of her books to feel like we're on a first-name basis — generations of young readers would never have been introduced to Margaret, Fudge, Deenie, or Sally. None of these characters were extraordinary beings like the stars of today's YA books — Margaret never had to go out and kill other kids for sport, Fudge wasn't a vampire or a werewolf, and he certainly didn't sparkle — and that's why they've always resonated with readers. They were just normal kids — our friends, our siblings, ourselves.

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